climate change Thought of the Day

Sea Change

Things can change for the better, and Jesus reveals that change. This post is about prophesy, the gift given for building up the Church. Prophets reveal things, and in the stories when people respond things get better – or at least the calamity that approaches is averted.

When the religious authorities (whose role it was to set an example and build up the people of God) ask Jesus to prove himself, Jesus refers them to the people of Ninevah (a den of scum and villany) and the Queen of the South ( who travelled a great distance because she recognised Gods wisdom being revealed through Solomon).

But why Jonah? In the story of Jonah God is described as an active character. God sends a storm, a fish, threatens destruction and then relents. Most importantly though God is described as being gracious and compassionate.

​ But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4: 1-3

When we warn people that their actions are leading towards a calamity we should do so hoping that if they respond, the calamity might not happen. When the people of Ninevah responded to the warnings the city was not destroyed. This left Jonah feeling so embarrassed he wanted to die. Who would believe his warning in the future?

It is a short book. Why not make some time to read it, especially the bits after Jonah gets to Ninevah. When you read ask yourself

  • What is revealed about the Character of God?
  • Do I identify with any of the characters in particular?
  • How do I respond to the feeling of having something important to say (and being unsure of how it will be received)?

And if you want to practice responding with hope to a message which contains warnings of possible calamities, here is some Aquatically themed news.

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